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  1. #1
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    Thoughts and impressions on the cambridge azur 640a and athena f2.2.......

    So I purchased the Cambridge Azur 640a integrated amp and the Athena F2.2 floorstanders and within 2.5 days I hae received both since I live in a close state to the audioadvisor.com headquarters (they're in MI, I am IN). But on to the important stuff....

    Yesterday when I got the amp (speakers today) I immediately hooked it up to my dad's Yamaha floor speakers which are a few years old, model NS-8390. They're 225 W and only have once 8 inch sub with some midrange thing and a tweeter; so probably not as powerful as the athenas. The amp is a Denon PM-1080R, not too old maybe 6 or 7 years. But basically they sounded ok. Hooked up the cambridge and turned it up loud... real loud... louder than they've ever been. In fact an hour later (after I had stopped blaring the music) a police car stopped in the road in front of my house and sat there for a minute or two as if someone called in a noise complaint (which probably happened because it was kind of odd). So I guess I'll give the cambridge and intital thumbs up. The only problem with it is that it is not surround sound capable (which I knew buying it), but I have a feeling that I will want it sooner in the future than later and might have to invest in some other pieces of equipment. I was actually wondering, can you biamp a surround sound amp and a 2 channel amp together? Or is there a way to use the two together?

    The only main problem I have with the amp is that the bass/treble controls don't do that much. I like to play with the settings a lot from song to song so it takes away some of the fun. However in the manual they did say that they did this on purpose so that your input device can do the controlling. Maybe this is better? I will be looking in to getting a sweet new mp3 player (probably cowon) though and this should have enough features/effects for my liking. On cool thing about the amp is that when I had it turned up realllll loud, it would sense the speakers being too loud (from clipping) for their own good and automatically turn the volume down!!! I was like, what the heck is moving the volume control back down? Then I realized what it was doing and like Peter Griffin said "sweettttt."

    On to the speakers. I just have to say that I love Fedex by the way. If only they had all women drivers... one lady would have been offered sexual favors lol. The speakers are a bit bigger than I would have liked and weight a decent amount (~45 lbs). But they seem to be built nicely and better than anything I could have gotten at best buy, circuit city, etc. for the price. After plugging them in I put on my samsung mp3 player which produces good sound and some newer rap music. Well unfortunately I see why they suggest a long break-in period. The subs sounded terrible intially! Call them rice krispies because all they did was snap, crackle and pop. For about 10 minutes anyway... They have since calmed down a lot. Now it's been about 1 hour of continuous play and they sound excellent already. Bump bump bump. Rock sounds good as well. So does the metallica & symphony concert. I like my elton john concert stuff too.

    I probably will be keeping the grills off. They just look so much cooler without them. Also there's some little cone-shaped tips (about 2 inches tall) that go on the bottom corners of the speakers to prop it off the ground. I have not put these on yet since I won't be getting them on a harder-floor (carpet right now) until tomorrow.

    Thanks to the guy who suggest this for me. This is some good stuff. I got it for total 820-some dollars. Plus wire (already had it, monster cable) and a double-Y cord for 15$ (I got the nice one of course). The bust buy guy was trying to sell me on some new Yamaha surround sound speakers selling for <200$. It was a full set and sounded great in store, but I was afraid of how it would sound when turned up loud (like I will be doing a lot) and have the 2-channel amp ordered already anyway.

    I will also be getting a new mp3 HDD player so I have my whole collection on hand ready to play. Cds are becoming obsolete... Plus mp3 players have all kind of EQ options which is something the amp does not have. They're also space saving.

    Any other thoughts on this equipment is welcome, I would like to hear it.

  2. #2
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    also...

    The amp has 625 W max power. The speakers are 250 each. I will probably be getting some small speakers that are ~50 W to put into the speaker B connections and play them all in the same room to maximize the amps power.

  3. #3
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Congrats and you're welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by bpward
    So I purchased the Cambridge Azur 640a integrated amp and the Athena F2.2 floorstanders and within 2.5 days I hae received both since I live in a close state to the audioadvisor.com headquarters (they're in MI, I am IN). But on to the important stuff....

    ... So I guess I'll give the cambridge and intital thumbs up. The only problem with it is that it is not surround sound capable (which I knew buying it), but I have a feeling that I will want it sooner in the future than later and might have to invest in some other pieces of equipment. I was actually wondering, can you biamp a surround sound amp and a 2 channel amp together? Or is there a way to use the two together?

    ... On cool thing about the amp is that when I had it turned up realllll loud, it would sense the speakers being too loud (from clipping) for their own good and automatically turn the volume down!!! I was like, what the heck is moving the volume control back down? Then I realized what it was doing and like Peter Griffin said "sweettttt."
    ...
    Thanks to the guy who suggest this for me. ...

    Any other thoughts on this equipment is welcome, I would like to hear it.
    As I recall, the Athena and Azur were my recommendation, (and nobody disagreed ) Both these components have been widely praised so I knew they were a safe bet.

    Yes, you can "bi-amp" using the Azur if your AV receiver has "Preamp Out" connecters; if the Azur has "Main In" connectors use them, otherwise connect to any input.

    Tone controls on quality products today usually provide relatively subtle control, so no surprise there. What does surprise me a lot, is the automatic volume reduction -- is this mentioned in the Azur user manual??

  4. #4
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    Yes it is part of their CAP5, 5 way protection system. The manual says it has:

    Intelligent clipping detection (the volume thing, it can be disabled by turning on with the remote and holdign the power button for like 10 seconds)

    Over temperature detection

    Short circuit detection - When powered up it checks for short circuits on the speaker terminals.... if the measured resistance is too low it will stay in standby mode

    DC detection - Says this is a rare occurance, but if the amp output goes to DC because of an internal fault it protects the speakers. Also if the amp is switched out of standby when the input signal to the amp is too high (with the current volume setting) the system detects this and reduces the volume. So there is 2 ways it will do the auto-volume-down-thingy.

    Overvoltage/overcurrent detection - Offers V/I protection by constantly monitoring the output transistors to keep them working in their safe operating area.

    So far I have noticed that bad mp3 recordings don't sound too good and the speakers seem to amplify the effect a bit..... I'm thinking they still need time to break-in (only been on for like 5 hours) but the initial effects are very obvious when you change from a good recording to a bad one and the good one sounds awesome, but the bad sounds pretty bad...

  5. #5
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    Also the manual shows a diagram of biamping with another azur 640a (kinda cool), but what I was wondering about is using a surround sound capable receiver for the additional speaker positions.... not just 2 of the same amp.

    What I would want to do (in the future) would be add the other amp and use it for the center, sub, rear, etc. channels and have the current one just power the 2 front athenas. Although I would probably be happy enough with just an extra set of smaller speakers hooked up to the B connections for a little extra oomph.

  6. #6
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    What you might have to do ...

    Quote Originally Posted by bpward
    ...

    What I would want to do (in the future) would be add the other amp and use it for the center, sub, rear, etc. channels and have the current one just power the 2 front athenas. Although I would probably be happy enough with just an extra set of smaller speakers hooked up to the B connections for a little extra oomph.
    As I implied earlier, is use the Azur down stream of an AV receiver with preamp-out connections (or a so-call "pre-pro" unit, basically a multi-channel preamp). Looks like this:
    AV receiver ==> Azur ==> front speakers
    (ditto) ==> center, sub, and rear

  7. #7
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpward
    The amp has 625 W max power.
    That number is AC watts consumed from the wall and has nothing to do with output. The difference between the 130 watt output (or 200 at 4 ohms) and the power consumed is heat.

    rw

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